Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020686, Tue, 7 Sep 2010 08:19:57 -0400

Re: Alfin, Shade
The sun and star synthesis may confirm a double nature in a slightly different way. Shade may be saying that two things we call by different names (sun and star) are actually the same thing (both are really stars). As Shade trims off his dead outer layer of skin, he reveals both the new skin/self beneath and the moons of his cuticles.


>>> On 9/6/2010 at 9:49 PM, in message <0AF4AB43D4284B5E95173834451EF843@JansyPC>, Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:
Matt Roth: I know that Alfin's name has been discussed before on the list. Has it been noted that VN seems to be playing a game of opposites here? Alfin = alpha (the letter a, the beginning)
Alfin = al fin (the last/the end). I noticed one other opposition today that I somehow missed. John Shade is the product of Samuel Shade and Caroline Lukin. If Kinbote is right that Lukin comes from Luke (meaning light-giver), then Shade is the product of dark and light, or night and day (or Nattochdag even). Could this be more of a hint at his double nature?

JM: Exciting associations, Matt ( "alfin" and "fin", alpha and omega; Shade/Lukin as "dark and light," even Nattochdag...). Shade's "synthesis of sun and star" (day and night?) speaks against any double nature as a result of a radical split between "good and evil," "beauty and beast," although this kind of preoccupation about split off dimensions is very nabokovian.There's the river "Alph" in "Bend Sinister" about which I also wondered by its to Hamlet and those treacherous uncles and mothers (this thread begins with HH ancestors, in Lolita and winds through Pnin!). Could there be a hint about Aunt Maud and Samuel Shade? ( over-interpretation is dangerous but it's rather tempting).

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